Heads of Government set the stage for an active start to 2021 for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) when on Tuesday they continued their discussions towards initiating the economic recovery of the Region which has been devastated by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
At the 13th Special Emergency Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government held virtually, they received an update on the Caribbean Economic Recovery and Transformation (CERT) Plan, which is being devised by a regional team of experts under the leadership of the Prime Minister of Barbados, Honourable Mia Amor Mottley.
They commended the team on its work and looked forward to its completion.
The Special Emergency Meeting was presided over by the Chair of the Conference, Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and the leaders took the opportunity to discuss other urgent matters.
They issued three statements among which they emphasised their unswerving support for Guyana in the border controversy with Venezuela. They also called for a global summit to address equitable access and distribution of the vaccines to combat the pandemic. The Heads of Government further denounced the unilateral declaration by the United States which designated Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The Heads of Government session was the first in a week which will see the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors meeting on Thursday morning with an agenda which includes reviewing plans for the Thirty-Second Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government which will be held on 23-24 February 2021. The Committee will also engage with the Heads of Regional Institutions and the Secretary-General of the Community His Excellency Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Thursday afternoon where matters related to the economic impact of the pandemic as well as the Community’s on-going reform process will be among matters for discussion.
The hectic week continues with the Community Council of Ministers getting together on Friday to advance preparations for the Intersessional Meeting including discussions on a provisional agenda as well as to approve the 2021-22 Budget for the CARICOM Secretariat among several issues.
Secretary-General LaRocque said the week’s activities underline the urgency which is necessary to tackle the adverse social and economic effects that the Covid-19 pandemic has wrought on the Community.
“Our Heads of Government are leading the way in seeking a path to recovery from the effects of the pandemic and to continue to build the resilience of the Community. The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) provides a solid platform and the collaboration among the Member States, the Regional Institutions and the Secretariat which proved so effective in the Community’s relatively successful containment of the virus is another factor in our favour,” Ambassador LaRocque added.